CLIP-ings: May 28, 2021

Internet Governance

D.C. Attorney General Brings Antitrust Suit Against Amazon: The suit alleges that Amazon’s practice of blocking third-party sellers from selling their products on other platforms amounts to a monopoly practice that violates the District of Columbia’s Antitrust Act.

WhatsApp Sues India’s Government Over Message-Traceability Law: The country’s Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code, which is intended in part to track the origins of misinformation, requires messaging apps such as WhatsApp to identify the “first originator of information”; WhatsApp argues that a requirement that it trace messages would threaten end-to-end encryption and jeopardize user privacy.

Privacy Groups In EU And UK Sue Clearview AI: The lawsuits in the UK, France, Austria, Greece, and Italy allege that the controversial facial-recognition company’s practice of scraping photos from across the internet to populate its database of more than three billion images violates the GDPR. 
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Crime App Citizen Targeted In Large-Scale Scraping Incident: A hacktivist scraped from the crime-reporting app and posted online data including incident location information, police radio audio files, images, and more; while the data is publicly accessible on the app itself, the aggregation and centralization of it on the web reveals how much data Citizen processes, and could potentially be useful for tracking the app’s adoption and use.
Free Expression & Censorship

Florida Law Prohibits Tech Companies From Banning Politicians: The new law, which is intended to curb the “censorship” of conservative individuals and viewpoints by tech companies, makes it unlawful for such companies to de-platform political candidates or news outlets and grants Floridians the right to sue over content moderation decisions; violators are subject to daily fines of up to $250,000, but the law is likely to be challenged.

Facebook Plans To Limit Distribution Of Content Of Users Who Post Misinformation: While the social network already limits the visibility of posts containing misinformation, it will now begin to limit the reach of all content from users found to routinely post misinformation on the platform.
Practice Note

USPTO Makes .DOCX Preferred Filing Format: The move is part of an effort to “modernize and streamline [the] patent application system,” by, among other things, making it easier for the Office to automatically process submissions; users who wish to file using .PDF format will be subject to a fee.  
On the Lighter Side TikTok

Gets A New Voice: The popular video-streaming platform updated the audio of its text-to-voice feature after the actor whose voice was used for the original version of the feature sued, alleging that TikTok used her voice without authorization.  
Olivier Sylvain Academic Director, Fordham CLIP
Tom Norton Executive Director, Fordham CLIP